For Betty Jane

“The magic’s gone, I think,” I croaked, writhing in my seat.
“The fairies sank, the bean stalk died, castles crumbling at my feet.”
My eyes dropped to the floor on which stringless puppets used to dance,
marionettes enchanted, tiny shadows hearts enhanced.
A horizon once aflame, flicking from a wondrous spark,
to ignite the hearts of all who dwelt, having succumbed now to the dark.

“How is love to conquer when far and wide there’s hate?!
People causing harm to harm, falling easily to this fate.
An eye for an eye, they say, taking all they see,
when with their own two eyes unaware of how blind they may be.
A world without a rhythm, no longer iambic, hearty nor aloft,
no more notes by which to soar the day, no sonnets loud or soft.”

“A wondrous thing has died here, neglected, starved and sick,
to give up trying to revive it or fall in line, which one do I pick?
Neither path will yield easily, the uphill struggle of my soul,
to chase a thing so hopelessly dashed or exist in a world so droll.”

I began to weep to think of the lights from eyes gone dim,
the rabbits not pulled from hats, dust collecting on the brim.
Dead trolls cannot guard the way, no breath within a dragon’s chest,
no true love’s kiss to wake the lass, her heart stops beating in her breast.
No magic beans, no fairy dust, the singing flowers drooping down,
pirate ships a-sinking, the silence of a clown.

She sits quietly at my side, a tear welling in her eye,
she hoists her arms around me and lets out a long, tired sigh.
“Child, you can’t sit about and wring your hands surrendered,
crying over things long gone, forlorn for things remembered.
It’s not too late for us, and I know how it may hide,
you have to dig in quite deep, the magic’s still inside.”

She raised my chin and wiped my tears, and winked her twinkled eye,
“The magic will only leave the world when souls like you let it die.
You have to believe it’s there when it becomes so hard to see,
you’ll have to keep it alive even when you don’t have me.
Squint and hunt and burrow and search, I promise it’s not gone,
it’s in the woods, a child’s hands, and in every rising dawn.
I kept it alive and cared for it the long while I was here,
I need you to not give up now, even though things seem so drear.”

Before my very eyes she faded, like the blue fairy into air,
even though I could still feel her hands like she was always there.
I felt inside my heart, something like a mountain being born,
and I turned east and there I saw the orangest, brightest morn.

And so spread a smile across my face, and my soul echoed this resolve,
to usher magic into my days around which my world will revolve.
Resurrect the fairies, hear the Cheshire cat’s velvet purr,
we have to with all of our hearts, for you, for me and always for her.

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